Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother is a great read that makes the reader question whether privacy is worth giving up for security. In the third chapter, Marcus is detained and told to unlock his phone and decrypt the files for the government agents. He refuses to comply, citing his right to privacy, but the agents ignore him and tell him he has no other choice and “Honest people don’t have anything to hide”.
This phrase stood out to me and made me think about our discussion in class where the question of security versus privacy was proposed. The argument that we should not be worried about our privacy being invaded if we have nothing to hide is used as a basic argument in favor of security over privacy; however, this passage makes me question that argument. Most people have nothing to hide, but I do not think that this makes it acceptable to take away the right to privacy for everyone. I also think that if one right can be taken away from us, then there is nothing stopping the government from stripping the other rights we have as well. What is the point of basic human rights if they can be declared no longer basic at any time?
This passage discusses our right to privacy, but it also has made me think about the effects of the decisions we make regarding it. If we allow the government to take away one of our rights, then we pretty much give up our rights in general. How we react to the current privacy situations, such as the NSA scandal, will affect more than just privacy, it will determine the level of liberty of future generations.